AP Global Football 10 Quotebox


LONDON (AP) -Soeren-Mikael Hansen, Politiken, Denmark.

"Even though Barcelona performed best as a team Cristiano Ronaldo must take the top spot individually. Scoring three goals, he sent a serious warning to United before visiting the Bernabeu on Wednesday. A solid performance (by United) against Everton with Ryan Giggs scoring for the 23rd consecutive season, Nemanja Vidic on the way back to top level, and Van Persie in scoring form, it must be a match worth waiting a winter for."

Will Tidey, The Bleacher Report, United States.

"This week is all about Cristiano Ronaldo. His 20th hat trick for Real Madrid did for Sevilla, and it's former club Manchester United next for the galactico. Gareth Bale: The wondrous Welshman was at it again for Spurs against Newcastle; two goals, three points and another 5 milllion pounds or so on his transfer value. Jack Wilshere is so high based on his performance for England against Brazil. The 21-year-old dazzled at Wembley and shone bright enough to make a tortured football nation find hope again."

James Porteous, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong.

"Some tough choices this week, with a number of impressive performances. I've gone for Ronaldo (just) as top player, though superb displays from Andres Iniesta and Gareth Bale ran him very close. A hat trick (his 20th for Real Madrid, a remarkable stat) and an assist is hard to beat, however. For top team, there were a few contenders again, but Bayern's demolition of Schalke stood out the most. They are almost guaranteed the league title, as are Man United after a good win against Everton. And Barca, who have seemed to have La Liga sewn up for months, did what they do best, annihilate mid-table opposition."

Mike McGrath, The Sun/Wardles news agency, England.

"Andres Iniesta really caught the eye with his passing in Barcelona's victory over Getafe. It was such an imaginative display from the Spain midfielder. But Cristiano Ronaldo was again the difference for Real Madrid with his performance against Sevilla. He just gets my vote as his team may not have won without him. Next up is Manchester United. But Barcelona was the best team performance for me. Even in front of goal they are so unselfish."

Aurelio Capaldi, RAI Sport, Italy.

"Bayern Munich demolished Schalke and they now have 15 points more than Borussia Dortmund: They always seem to be hungry and make lots of players score. Left back David Alaba celebrated a double and this 20-year-old talented defender confirmed his offensive skills are brilliant. Gareth Bale is becoming more and more important for Tottenham. His double against Newcastle was decisive for Spurs and the Welshman has become one of the symbols of the Premier League. He often looks unstoppable and is the man every top club is dreaming to have on the left side."

Christian Schaetzle, derfussballblogger.de, Germany.

"With his 3 goals in the 4-1 win over Sevilla, Ronaldo was man of the match. He is in very good form. He also scored in Portugal's unlucky 3-2 loss to Ecuador. Bayern won easily 4-0 over Schalke, which after all is in the KO stage of the Champions League. With its followers slipping, Bayern now has a 15-point lead."

Tom Timmermann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, United States.

"There's a new challenge to face. With Argentina's season starting, that's a new league to consider. I'm going to wait a few weeks before seeing if one of them belongs in the equation. In any case, I'm excited about this week. It was a tough call for me at the top but, once again, Cristiano Ronaldo loses out to a Barcelona player. This time it was Andres Iniesta, who had two goals and set up another in a 6-1 win. While scoring goals is the name of the game, someone's got to set them up, and Iniesta deserves credit for that. I tried weighing the level of the competition in comparing Iniesta's game with Ronaldo's hat trick, but their opponents are almost identical statistically. Lille goalkeeper Elana came up with two big saves in an upset win over Lyon, and Alarcon had two goals in a game that Malaga needed to win to stay in the top four in Spain."

James Thorogood, Bundesliga.com

"Cristiano Ronaldo - bouncing back from his worst performance of the season with a hat trick says all you need to know about the class the Portuguese international possesses. Heung-Min Son - linked with several Premier League clubs during the January transfer window, Son's performance against reigning champion Borussia Dortmund underlined why the South Korean is such a sought after talent. David Alaba's emergence in arguably the most talented Bayern squad of recent years has been nothing short of spectacular. Capable of going toe-to-toe with the world's best at the back and a menace on the left flank alongside Franck Ribery, the Austrian youngster demonstrated composure beyond his years in bagging a brace against Schalke, and in my eyes is on his way to be touted as the best left-back in Europe. Beating the reigning champion 4-1 on home soil is a feat in and of itself, but the fashion in which Hamburg managed it was a joy to behold. The Red Shorts were causing Dortmund problems even before Robert Lewandowski got sent off, and the emphatic nature of their victory saw them deservedly complete a league double against BVB for the first time since the 2007-08 season, reigniting hopes of securing European qualification."

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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